Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)



27 April 2010

Last Week

I spent most of last week and some of this week recaning this chair of my mom's.

I've had it for, okay! Six years. Sorry, Mom.

I learned to cane chairs from The Caner's Handbook, by Bruce Miller and Jim Widess, back in 2003.

I caned a bunch of chairs for my mom and other people, and I guess I burned out on caning.

It's a lot of hand work. There really aren't any magic shortcuts. Your hands are damp for hours, and sometimes the cane end gives you a good stab under the fingernail.

On the positive side, it's a peaceful, meditative process. It gives me plenty of time to think in a way the internet doesn't. I especially like the way each layer of cane going each different direction supports the other layers.

When I learned to cane, I had an idea of doing it as a part-time business. But after doing it enough, I've learned I'd rather cane for love than money.

I'll never be a master caner, but I can weave a seat you can sit on.

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11 Comments:

Blogger amy said...

I'm exceedingly impressed!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I thought of you the other day at my knitting group. One of my compatriots said that she'd never managed to get the hang of tatting and always ended up in a horrific tangle.

Someone else said, "Tatting... that's a lost art!"

11:53 AM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

That seems like a good life statement. Making something that can be used again and again to support the behinds of people you love is a good thing!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I have a whole set of dining room chairs that are waiting to be refinished and have their backs caned. My husband is supposed to finish the wood and I'm supposed to cane the backs. I wasnt' sure where to find the info but now you've given me a source. Of course, they've been in storage for um, many years so who knows when we'll get to them. Your chair seat looks perfect.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Walden said...

Such a wonderful skill! I'm already considering getting the book.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

So the cane goes down into the hole, up out of the next hole and across, into the hole, up out of the next hole. . . hypnotic! do you need some sort of tool to get that final fourth layer plaited in? You do such BEAUTIFUL work!!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Olivia said...

What a nice sequence of photos. The end result is fantastic, but it does look like hard work.

3:34 AM  
OpenID bellsknits.com said...

oh man that's clever. Well done!

6:51 PM  
Blogger HobbygÃ¥sa said...

Wow I am impressed, you are a real handy woman! Great job, it is as good as new!

8:17 AM  
Blogger One More Stitch said...

What a lot of work - my hands were aching as I read, thinking about the strength involved. I love the smooth, even finish and the fact that an object gets another round of life.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

I can't do that. I'm sure I could if I learned how, but I can't. Let's hear it for useful skills.

My verification string is poggedo. Sounds like a feature of Italian architecture, or maybe a kind of pudding.

3:01 PM  

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